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Jeff Bezos to Take Stephens College Alumna Into Space

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is scheduled to go into space next week, and he’s taking a Stephens College alumna with him.

The Columbia Missourian reported on June 8, 2021, that Wally Funk, 82, will be the oldest person to go into space. She graduated from Stephens College in 1958 with an associate degree and a pilot’s license.

A Story Corps conversation with Funk was featured recently on NPR Morning Edition.

According to the article, “In 1961, Funk was among a group of female pilots testing whether women were fit for space travel. They became known as the Mercury 13, and they passed many of the same tests as the men. But the program was canceled, and Funk was never accepted by NASA.”

Bezos is the founder of Blue Origin, builder of the reusable New Shepherd rocket. Funk and Bezos will be members of the first New Shepherd crew to go into space on July 20.

Copyright 2021 KBIA